EVERYONE HAS THEIR wakeup momentabout the Academy Awards: A moment when you put away childish belief and realize it’s not at all about art but about popularity (as Sally Field once indicated and then got lambasted for her clarity). Mine happened back in 1977 when Rocky won Best Picture and Taxi Driver did not. No plainer illustration of art vs. commerce is imaginable, but the reality has been blurred ever since. Today’s completely uncritical promotion of the Academy Awards in the mainstream media makes it unlikely that moviegoers will ever entertain a skeptical thought. Most media outlets treat theOscars with nearly patriotic fervor—as the issue most important to all Americans, with Obamacare perhaps coming in second place.
This Oscar hegemony barely disguises the depressing change in media habit where journalism and entertainment have merged. Imagine some media conglomerate drumming Oscar mania into its readership the way stern schoolteachers used to teach multiplication tables. Imagine a periodical called Oscars Weekly that drilled mindless competition and narcissism instead of art analysis and human sensitivity by ceaselessly, throughout the year, keeping a running tally of movies as potential winners of Academy Award nominations or the statue itself. It wouldn’t be far from the insanity that Oscar talk journalists already indulge and that reaches psychotic pitch during what’s loopily known as
Old-time cynics used to say that the Oscars were simply Hollywood’s way of congratulating itself, using the awards to gain box-office attention for the industry’s product. Now, no media pundit would dare admit that promoting Oscars approves how journalism has capitulated to the film industry. None have criticized the Academy’s new accounting methods that nullify its own credibility.The Awards are turned into the pinhead’s Super Bowl simply in order to sell more product—to keep the wheels of media capitalism turning. Sometimes those wheels roll right over good sense. For example: flattening Kathryn Bigelow and The Hurt Locker
into media fodder.
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Sunday, March 07, 2010
"OSCAR MEDIA STINKS BECAUSE IT DOESN'T LET US THINK FOR OURSELVES" - ARMOND WHITE
Earlier today, I read an interesting article in The New York Press called "Wake Up and Smell the Oscars: They Stink! Or Why Kathryn Bigelow Doesn't Need to Win a Statue Because She's Better That."
Even though I didn't agree with everything White said, I did find some good points in this piece, which starts here: